Hey writers! We had a great conversation here last week as part of Office Hours and will continue the conversation here for new writers this week.

We invite you to read through the thread and absorb the insights fellow writers shared. If you're new to Substack in the last three months and didn't introduce yourself last week, reply to this comment and say hello.

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Hey writers! Who started a Substack in the last three months? Reply to this comment and introduce yourself.

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Hey Substack writers! Office hours is a great resource for all writers on the platform, especially if you’re new. Though simple in many ways, Substack can certainly feel complex sometimes. The Office Hours thread can feel chaotic and overwhelming; my advice is to just casually scroll and take in what you can. The FAQ page on the platform is also very helpful, and Substack staff are often good at responding to questions.

A great way to build a subscriber list is to: 1. Write quality material regularly, 2-4 times per week (plus or minus); 2. Engage with other writers on the platform; 3. always attend and comment in Office Hours; 4. Read and comment on other writers’ stacks. 5. Don’t be afraid to self-promote, but do it as part of the community with other writers in mind. 6. We can all share, comment on and recommend each other’s work. Plus there’s crossposting, guest-posting, etc.

*One final suggestion/note: Write honestly. Get real, raw and vulnerable. Pull no punches. Writing is about guts, not safety. 👌

Here’s a helpful link: https://michaelmohr.substack.com/p/why-you-should-edit-your-substack

Best of luck!

Michael Mohr

‘Sincere American Writing’


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Thanks for joining us today at Office Hours! It's great to see so many new faces. The Substack team is signing off but we'll be back next week. In the meantime, checkout the resources listed at the top of the post.

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Some thoughts and tips for new fiction writers here:

- Don't overwhelm your readers. Fiction requires a different kind of attention, so don't send out so much that your readers don't have time to read it. Don't put yourself in the position of competing for time with everything else in their lives!

- This will vary depending on genre and style, of course, but I go with a loose rule of thumb of about 1,200 words per chapter/instalment. It's long enough to have some real substance, but short enough to be easily read in a single sitting during breakfast / the commute / before bed etc

- Create an index of your stories once you've got a decent number, to make it easier for people to find what they want. Especially the case if you're writing sequential, serialised stories. When I did this, it seemed to increase general readership (https://simonkjones.substack.com/p/how-to-read-tales-from-the-triverse).

- If you're writing a long-form story, or serialising a novel, don't include chapter numbers in the post titles. Over time, it becomes off-putting to new readers, who see a massive number and think of it as homework.

- Use sections for collections of stories, or for serials. Makes it much easier for people to navigate.

- For ongoing serials, consider including a TV-style 'previously on....' short paragraph at the top of each instalment.

- Use custom buttons to create easy previous / next chapter links.

- BookFunnel promos can be an effective way to bring in new fiction readers. Once you've got enough material to create a sample, you can use group promos to attract new readers. Because the sample is of the same material on the newsletter, it keeps churn to a minimum.

- Join the Fictionistas community, we're lovely: https://fictionistas.substack.com/

- Don't over-commit. If you can't manage 1 story a week, don't promise it! Figure out what you can comfortably deliver without stressing yourself out. A healthy writer = better writing.

Good luck to all of you starting out! There's a wonderful community of fiction writers here. Hopefully I'll get to meet some of you. :)

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I'm new enough around here, just started taking it seriously in January. I love Substack, I love this space to write and I love the opportunities coming my way as a result of it ✨

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Hi, Substackers. I started a humor newsletter in December, though to start I populated it from earlier works previously published elsewhere. The most recent post seems to be my most popular so far! Thanks for all the support! https://johnbluff.substack.com

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Are you an upcoming writer of fantasy or science fiction on Substack? Do you want to join a like-minded community of speculative authors and be recognized for your work? The Lunar Awards has launched and is getting ready to run its first award season.


If you have questions about writing speculative fiction here on Substack, ask away! There are a large number of us that enjoy the genre and are interested in connecting. Here are a few of my favorites exploring a wide range of speculative sub-genres:

https://futurethief.substack.com/ (Me!)







We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi, all! I created my Substack more than a year ago, but I just committed myself to doing it regularly. Looking forward to following this community to grow and improve my Substack. I am a national news reporter and I write about rural affairs. https://nicholedobo.substack.com/

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Hi! New writer here! I started my self-help/astrology blog this week. It accompanies my Chicago-based in-person comedy show Astrobitch! Its an astrology based comedy show where the comics all have the zodiac sign of the month except one. The audience has to guess which on is the odd one out based on their comedy routine!

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Hey everyone, I'm constantly New anywhere I go, so of course I'm New Here. Nice to meet you all.

I write Runaway, a newsletter all about expectations, reality and the inevitable crash. It's gonna be a two-times-a-week deal, one personal essay, one wild culture roundup of sorts.

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I’d you don’t already have a built in audience of followers (like published authors do), what are tangible tips for growing? Especially ones that do not lift too much energy away from the actual writing?

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Thanks, Katie. I'm Howard M. Cohen and I launched two new Substacks in January. The Business Technologist's Journal (biztechjournal.substack.com) is a chance for me to share experiences, insights, and observations from my 40 years of executive experience in the IT industry. What Do You Want (whatdoyouwant.substack.com) explores how intention shapes our lives, suggesting that the most important question to answer begins with "what do you want?"

I'm a NY transplant living in Arizona who first embarked on a freelance writing career 14 years ago and has never looked back.

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One thing I like about committing to a publishing schedule is the (self-imposed) deadline. It really drives me to keep writing. "I love deadlines. Especially the 'whoosh' sound they make when they go by." - Douglas Adams

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TOMORROW IS MY LAUNCH DAY! Grief, Grit & Grace: A Heroine's Journey of Aging

About the archetypal adventures of a woman's third act of life.

I have a TON of tech questions that the articles aren't answering, and I'd love to get some hand-holding from a real Substack human. Are there any out there?

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Hi everyone, I'm Laurent. I seem to be one of the newest around here as I launched less than 24 hours ago! Trying to make the best of my time going over the resources and figuring out a game plan here.

My newsletter is called Asymmetrical Collage. I want it to become a place where people go to think about future change and how we can find opportunities to lead more meaningful lives according to our values.

If anyone wants to check it out, I'll start publishing weekly on Tuesdays.


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I started a few weeks ago. It feels like I am jumping in the deep end of the pool. I was invited/ challenged to write something and publish it so I could experience the true feeling of being vulnerable as the joy of knowing I have begun facing any fears.

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Just spinning up my new Substack at https://kenburkhalter.substack.com/. Essays at the intersections of life, faith, and purpose. Looking for info on moving to a custom domain.

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Just joined. All new to me. I'll be publishing a bi-weekly series of short stories meant to bring a smile to faces and once in a while maybe new perspectives on the craziness of life. The Untold Stories orf Dusty Rhodes has launched on Substack!

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I’m Jason. I write about battling in the goal to better my mental health. I have poems and life stories I have shared with the goal of helping myself throughout therapy, as well as hopefully reaching someone who can use some perspective or a positive note.

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Hi. Started "Books I Read This Month" (https://booksireadthismonth.substack.com) on the last day of February. The second volume will be published on March 30. What is the easiest way to search for other Substacks which focus on book reviews? Thanks.

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This thread actually started at 10 today! I'm looking forward to seeing some new writers here - In the past I found myself getting lost despite showing up a half an hour early.

I have no questions today, but want to express how frustrated I've been with there being no dashboard function on the app. That combined with the fact that most of my followers don't have the app - it feels pretty useless. I wish it was first tailored towards the Substack creators/writers rather than the consumers. I would much prefer getting subscription notifications and comments there to manage than receiving a hundred emails about it.

Anyway, thanks for having this community and thanks for listening.

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Is there any place where I can connect with illustrators who could be hired to create art for Substack pieces I publish?

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Hey new Substack writers! I hit six months of weekly publishing this month, and after starting with only 15 subscribers I'm on my way to 300. It's been slow and steady, and I couldn't be more excited about the experience. If you're interested in how I have approached writing and growing, I wrote a post called "My Three-Month ‘Stackiversary and Insights for Writers with Under 200 Readers."

The essay includes details regarding my subscriber numbers and goals. Here's a link:


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To all those getting started, I recommend a weekly publishing schedule. I publish on Wednesday mornings, for example. Here is the weekly writing plan I use.

Thursday: Thank God I’ve got a full week till my next post.

Friday: Still got a few days to get started. I’m fine.

Saturday: The weekends are for relaxing, right?

Sunday: This is officially a day of rest. I couldn’t write even if I wanted to.

Monday: Wait, don’t I have a post to write?

Tuesday: What do you mean Wednesday is tomorrow? How on earth did that happen? Oh this is insane. I’d better get started.

Tuesday night/Wednesday morning: Does Uber Eats deliver coffee at 3 a.m.?

Wednesday (after posting): Phew. Made it. That was rough. I’ll never let that happen again.

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Hello! My substack is mostly about my 30 years as a working musician. The good, the bad, and the pursuit to keep pushing on. https://ofsoundandfury.substack.com/

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There is such a diversity of subjects here, that is really great.

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I'm procrastinating about starting my substack because I need to post videos......and because I tend to procrastinate.

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Hello fellow Substackers!

This week is my second birthday celebration posting my newsletter Tumbleweed Words on Substack! I’m not much of one for self-promotion and love the organic community I am growing over at Tumbleweed Words. But I thought I’d shoot my shot for once and ask fellow Substackers who subscribe or enjoy my newsletter to take less than a minute and support my newsletter with a Substack recommendation—any support is greatly appreciated! Link available below via my recent post.


P.S. I am her to support you all also—happy to be here today for year three! 😊

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Hi writers! I'm a freelance copywriters and designer from Amsterdam. I'm just starting here on the Substack platform with a new project. Still in the planning and draft phase. But looking forward to getting to know the platform and the possibilities :-)

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Hi - I just started in March. Writing about wine, food and fun travel/places. Excited to finally get started on something I've wanted to do for awhile.

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My newsletter is about learning software and data, so if you’re interested in getting into those fields or improving on them check it out :)


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Hello! I've recently started a Substack (about a month ago) about what is probably a pretty niche topic here: amateur radio experimentation. I imported some subscribers from my blog but I'm looking for ways to get more views and hopefully start to build an interactive community. If you're a ham or even just curious about the tech, I'd love to connect with you.

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Hey - loving Substack as a platform and community but still trying to build my subscriber list organically. I obviously want to grow beyond my little social network and find my true audience. Any tips are much appreciated. Secondary to that, a lot of people seem to read but don't subscribe, or subscribe but comment directly to me as opposed to the post. Would love to correct that naturally. 

Anyway, my Substack is SecondRateCities.com. It combines my love for running, bars, and overlooked cities into a long-form, non-conventional travel blog. The premise is short trips to any cities and towns that are not typical travel destinations and exploring them through, you guessed it, running and bar hopping. I think it gives a more honest feel of place than simply listing out "must-dos and sees" and uncovers lots of gems.

With that in mind, I would love to find more travel and culture Subs to follow, holler if you have one!


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What's up everyone?

I've got a plan: I'm starting off free before I'll eventually allow paid subscriptions. I plan to switch when I reach a few hundred subscribers or a few thousand. It's not easy being someone without a lot of fame, but I gotta say Substack is much better and more professional than Google Blogger and WordPress.

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Hi Katie - and everyone! 👋 I started Haver & Sparrow last month - I share writing and photographs of everyday moments from my home in Shetland (a group of tiny islands in the middle of the wild and unforgiving North Sea). My latest letter is 'Consistency and creativity' https://haverandsparrow.substack.com/p/consistency-and-creativity - a topic a lot of us here can relate to, I think! I love to document the little moments and details that might otherwise pass us by. The light moving across a wall, the petals on a wilting flower, the textures on a frosty walk… I love Substack so far, the community here is great and the conversations are always so interesting! ✨

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I started my Substack on December 12th and just reached 100 subscribers two days ago. Never miss Office Hours here. Love it. Onward!

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Hey everyone! I'm working on a piece about the generative AI frenzy and would like to know what you all think. Have you used it? Do you love it, hate it, or not sure yet? Do you want to be interviewed for the piece?

I've put together a brief Google form that I'd love for people to respond to – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1gwK6najJ-f4dASvJTf3B44cm5JHY9r8vSDSOLWbEkBs/edit

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Hello Katie and everybody! I started my Substack some 9 months ago, but I consider myself new to the community. Even though have written 44 posts already, I have never got around to interacting with the community of writers here.

I am a teacher of English from Poland serializing my multidimensional and multimedia travel story called 'Other Eyes for Johnny Rocco: Welcome to 3000 Miles on the Road with a Heart Unlocked by a Month of Silence' here: https://novaliterary.substack.com.

It is a story that takes readers behind a curtain of monastic bliss and agony for them to co-experience how it is to be in a very silent, holy and exotic setting for a month, only to be plucked out of the place to go on a journey with 'other eyes' across Thailand, Mainland Malaysia, Singapore, across the Strait of Malacca, and down the islands of Sumatra and Java.

The posts alternate, serializing the main story, as well as promoting the accompanying 'Tales from the Jungle' and 'Postcards from the Road'. There are plenty of graphics from Magda's (my wife) drawing board, there are plenty of photos from my Nikon and there is plenty of World Music (and not only) from YouTube.

However, After 44 posts, my thoughts have started wandering to this doubt territory in my brain that has large blanket words like: ’maybe I need a break’, ’maybe it’s not worth the hassle’ or ’who cares about it anyway’. When I finally get around to writing, it is almost always fun, comes with ease and I always manage to surprise myself with what and how I have written things. Yet, the initial thrill does not last until there is time to write another post.

I suspect more external support would save me from quitting, but my strategy for getting new subscribers is yet to be born.

1. Is anybody else at this place?

2. Have you been there and recovered?

3. What did you do not to quit writing?

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Hi Katie, Stories from the Edge is a newsletter and website sharing light hearted weekly posts sent out from a smoky bothy in the wilds of Scotland. Thanks for the great platform Substack! https://signalscott.substack.com

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Hi everyone! I started my blog about two weeks ago and thus far have only gained 14 free subscribers. However, I am hoping to focus on readers who are interested in epic fantasy, from middle-grade until adult. I was wondering how large Substack's current stock of epic fantasy blogs and readers might be.

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The newsletter I publish today will be the first that only goes to paid subscribers. And I have a dilemma. Is there a way that I can provide access to individuals who aren't subscribers, for instance sources quoted who I would like to be able to see articles, even though they aren't (yet) subscribers?

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Hey everyone, I sent my first proper newsletter via Substack today after testing it for a little while and the formatting was a complete mess 😔.

Is this a known bug and is there a fix for it on the way?

It’s been super embarrassing for us so just wanted to double check that this was on your radar?

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I followed the same advice I have always given to clients I have blogged for. Release each post on the same day each week. I post The Business Technologist's Journal on Tuesdays and What Do You Want on Fridays. This builds in a discipline to get the content ready to go by the night before. I usually then schedule it for posting early the next morning. Once it's posted I share it to a few dozen groups on Facebook, a few dozen groups on LinkedIn, and a handful of Twitter hashtags.

Yesterday, my son reminded me that I also always encouraged clients to agree to a scheduled list of topics which I would then write in rapid succession and store up for posting in future weeks. This way, if there was ever a delay, I'd still be able to post consistently on time.

From my perspective, the Journal is targeted at my community of colleagues. What Do You Want is far more broadly targeted. Watching both grow comparatively has been incredibly instructional and fascinating.

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I'm interested in knowing what approaches other writers have to not overwhelming their subscriber lists with content. I get so excited about writing stuff, but also want to be conscious of not overwhelming everyone's email inboxes and want to be sure I maintain/build my subscriber community and don't scare them off. Anyone have any thoughts/ideas/approaches for how they think about this?

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Hi I am trying to get focused to do exactly that. I am a 70 something writer with years of teaching comp and getting published in local papers. There are loads of ideas in my head and my situation invites a whole lot of cultural criticism. But I am struggling to start getting myself serious about capturing my voice. My son is transgender and I care about and want to talk about that. And I am a '70s feminist, so that is going to play a role in my work.

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How do you quantify the desire for growth and sharing your creativity with the need for everything to remain organic?

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Hello! We launched our Substack about a month ago. Each week we explore a new theme related to well being and happiness. We're two friends with backgrounds in the culinary industry who each found ourselves in jobs during the pandemic related more to leveling up happiness rather than cooking and thought this would be a fun platform to keep the conversation going with people who are as interested in the topic as we are.

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Began a few weeks ago. Just my own random thoughts about this or that. Not looking for a large audience but the outlet is fun. I am a retired scientist and current editor with time on my hands. Good luck to all newbies.

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I started a blog recently — www.flyrun.fun. It’s about travel and running — and in particular, traveling to run! I like the platform. I wish with free subscriptions there was a feature to make some posts available only to subscribers — so as to encourage people to subscribe for free

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